About Gardening: Indirect Sunlight

by Mira Dessy

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Hi, Mira,
I saw your response to Laura, who wanted to grow vegetables in her apartment. I'd like to do that, but we only have a north-facing window. In the summer we get a little direct sunlight at the corners, but otherwise we only get indirect sunlight (is that correct? I see it in houseplant books, but I'm never sure what they mean.) Is it possible to get anything to sprout in those conditions? Last year I had some impatiens in a container, and they bloomed when fertilized, but didn't do so well otherwise.

Dear Beth,
Indirect sunlight is where you do not have full sun coming through the window at least 6 hours a day, but you have light coming through. It's possible to grow plants in indirect light, but not fruits, vegetables, or herbs. They really need light to sprout and grow. Impatiens will do well because they are a shade plant. So will coleus, which has a lovely multi-colored leaf (different varieties have different patterns). Basically, if you want to grow flowers or anything that needs lots of light, you will need a set of grow lights or a good fluorescent light (shop lights work well) in order for the plants to grow. Hope this helps.

If you have a question for Mira, send it to mdessy@together.net.

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